Glucagon is an invaluable tool for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who experience severe hypoglycemia, but little is known about the actual use of glucagon in this patient population. This study was undertaken among individuals with T1D or caregivers to assess the perceptions and/or past experiences using the currently available glucagon rescue kits, and factors that might increase its utility in the management of T1D. Survey responses from 264 adults with T1D (mean age 41.2 years [SD 15.5]) and 58 caregivers of a person with T1D (mean age 11.8 years [SD 3.7]) were included in the analyses. Overall the participants were highly educated, predominantly covered by private health insurance, and the majority were on insulin pumps. The survey revealed that the majority of the individuals with T1D had been prescribed glucagon; however, almost a third of the adult patients did not receive any education on its use, and a third of the adult patients did not have a current prescription. Caregivers reported higher percentages of receiving education on glucagon use and also having a current prescription. Of those with severe hypoglycemia who had glucagon available, half did not receive a glucagon injection. The majority of patients who had received glucagon injection reported various problems with the procedure; those who did not receive glucagon injection reported a number of barriers to its use. These data strongly suggest the need for 1) standards of practice that would increase prescribing of glucagon 2) initial and ongoing education on its use and administration 3) development of a glucagon rescue option that would eliminate the complexity relating to current formulations and packaging of rescue glucagon kits.
M.W. Haymond: Advisory Panel; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S. Other Relationship; Self; Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. J. Liu: None. J. Bispham: None. A. Hickey: None. A.H. McAuliffe-Fogarty: Advisory Panel; Self; Novo Nordisk Inc..